Capitol Rally to Bring Cannabis Tax Crisis to Doorstep of California Lawmakers

A refrain of business stakeholders and lawmakers representing “the 2 populations most harmed by the Conflict on Medication”—legacy farmers and BIPOC leaders—plan to descend upon the California Capitol steps in Sacramento, California on Thursday, January 13  for the #NODRUGWARV2 Rally and Press convention. The rally begins at 11 a.m. PST, and each native hashish advocate who cares concerning the viability of the business is invited.

The #NODRUGWARV2 Rally and Press Convention highlights two particular actions that the California State Legislature should take earlier than its July 1, 2022 finances deadline: the repeal of the excise tax for fairness retailers and the repeal of the cultivation tax for all growers throughout the state.

On January 1, California Division of Tax and Charge Administration’s tax hike on dry-weight flower took impact—ushering within the newest blow to cultivators. The charges rose by virtually 5 p.c, reaching over $161 per pound. Calling the present tax state of affairs in California the “Conflict on Medication 2.0”—the thought is to convey a way of urgency to the problem as farms fail and tax charges purge worthwhile business members.

Rally audio system embrace, so as of look, Amber Senter, chairperson and government director of Supernova Girls; Assemblymember Mia Bonta (18th District); Genine Coleman of Origins Council;  Kika Keith of Gorilla RX Wellness; John Casali of Huckleberry Hills Farm; Chaney Turner of Oakland’s Hashish Regulatory Fee; Raeven Duckett-Robinson of Group Gardens;  Casey O’Neill of HappyDay Farms; Henry Alston of James Henry SF; Sam De La Paz of the Hessel Farmers Grange; Malakai Amen of the California City Partnership; Karla Avila of Trinity County Agriculture Alliance; Carlton Williams of New Life CA; and Senator Steve Bradford (thirty fifth District). Senter would be the closing speaker and conclude the day’s remarks.

On Monday, January 10, Governor Gavin Newsom launched the 2022-2023 California state finances—promising that he and his Administration will deal with hashish tax reform and higher help the state’s small licensed operators who’re fed up with oppressive tax charges. The leaders behind Supernova Girls and Origins Council are amongst these beating the drum.

“It is rather oppressive. Actually—we’re in a disaster,” Amber E. Senter of Supernova Girls, a nonprofit that works to empower Black and Brown individuals to turn into self-sufficient shareholders within the hashish house, instructed Excessive Occasions. “Hashish gross sales are down. The entire financial system is a bit gentle. Of us simply have been coping with these onerous taxes since 2018 and people are actually past their breaking level. They not have the power to proceed below what we’ve been coping with—notably within the Bay Space in addition to in LA. Numerous operators—particularly social fairness operators—are coping with robberies and burglaries because of the financial system and other people determined and making acts out of desperation. Of us are getting robbed, and so they’re simply not in a position to recuperate from what’s taking place. We’d like some reduction.”

“Not solely has the State fallen quick on its promise to proper the wrongs inflicted upon minority communities by the Conflict on Medication,” Senter said, “nevertheless it has additionally perpetuated regressive Conflict on Medication 2.0 insurance policies by way of oppressive taxation, which has to finish.”

Supernova Girls was behind the November 29, 2021, Oakland Metropolis Corridor Rally and Press Convention, with assist from the Origins Council, a nonprofit group that represents and advocates for hashish companies in California’s historic farming areas. There, they addressed the rash of robberies hitting hashish companies.

Legacy farmers are amongst these hit the toughest by the burden of the tax construction. “From a small legacy farmer perspective in a rural space, it’s completely pressing. These companies are beginning to fold,” Genine Coleman, government director of the Origins Council, instructed Excessive Occasions. “These farmers are beginning to put their properties up on the market and transfer away. The potential extinction occasion has begun and time is of the essence—notably for farmers who’ve to guage in the event that they’re going to farm this yr. It’s at all times a problem to work with the tempo of presidency and coverage. Keep in mind that we’re farmers—so we’re on an agricultural schedule. And so precisely now could be the time that these farmers are dealing with these painful selections: are they going to plant or retire their license? Probably shut the farm? There’s different tandem advocacy that we’re doing that’s time-sensitive as nicely. The chance for farmers to fallow for a yr—to retain their licensing however not have the fee related to licensing, together with among the native tax constructions which might be no matter what your crop will appear to be that yr.”

Origins Council represents almost 900 cultivators and associates by way of its partnership with Trinity County Agriculture Alliance, Humboldt County Growers Alliance,  Mendocino Hashish Alliance, Sonoma County Growers Alliance, Nevada County Hashish Alliance and Massive Sur Farmers Affiliation.

“When the tax was enacted, it was within the neighborhood of 10 p.c of farm gross sales,” Casey O’Neill of HappyDay Farms instructed Excessive Occasions. “With the market crash,  the tax now accounts for as a lot as 50 p.c of farm gross sales. That is unacceptable, particularly when California is working a multi billion greenback finances surplus. Farms are teetering getting ready to insolvency, now could be the time for daring motion.”

Johnny Casali, a multi-generational small farmer who was sentenced to 120 months in Federal Jail for rising this plant. Casali highlighted the specifics of how the dry-weight tax is impacting cultivators. “I used to promote our Huckleberry Hill Farm sungrown hashish for round $1,400 a pound. Due to overproduction and the dearth of market entry, it has introduced the worth right down to $3-400 per pound, relying on high quality, and I’m paying 53 p.c cultivation tax at $161.28 per pound. After the price of manufacturing, I’m within the pink. I hope that with this Rally, the legislators will see the small farmer as I do—as a uncommon, phenomenal group of hard-working, household farmers who worship the land, who’re die-hard environmentalists, and who had been taught by their dad and mom and grandparents how you can develop the most effective hashish on the planet with little to no carbon footprint. We’re price saving.”

The #NoDrugWarV2 Rally and Press Convention with Supernova Girls and Origins Council is slated for Thursday, January 13, at 11 a.m. PST on the steps of the Capitol constructing, West facet. Please arrive masked and ready to make use of finest COVID-19 avoidance practices. 

Stay distant from Sacramento? Distant attendees might watch the Rally reside by way of Fb or Instagram.


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